The Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation projects has been certified for the November 2016 ballot as Measure X. This is the same measure known up to this point as “Measure J reauthorization“. Bike Concord, in support of our partner Bike East Bay, has participated extensively in the development of the Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) for this measure, advocating for a significant portion of the funding to go to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and for policy commitments in the TEP to ensure that such projects are serious and not meaningless window-dressing such as Class III facilities.
Although we did not obtain quite the level of bicycle and pedestrian funding we had hoped for, the amount in the final plan is significant – certainly more than it would have been without our advocacy – and will help a great deal with resolving some of the major safety barriers to bicycling and walking in Contra Costa, with particular allotments for Central Contra Costa specifically. The TEP includes a strong Complete Streets Policy governing all projects funded by it, which will be very useful when the time comes to push local jurisdictions to design their projects to serve bicycle and pedestrian traffic as a primary concern. Thanks to all the Bike Concord members who turned out in force at two different CCTA Board meetings to demonstrate support for these elements in the plan.
The TEP also addresses numerous other transportation needs, including those related to driving and transit.
The TEP process, while frustrating at times, was transparent and thorough; it was possible to see the plan change at each stage in response to public input. And input was diverse and at times conflicting. The final plan has the characteristics of a good compromise. It is not ideal to many interests (including ours), but it is acceptable to almost all of them.
Bike Concord is endorsing the measure, and will be contributing volunteers to help campaign for its passage. If you are willing to be one of those volunteers, please email us or comment here. We plan to lead some group bicycle rides to the soon-to-open Walnut Creek campaign headquarters. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.
Measure X will require two-thirds’ support from Contra Costa voters to pass.